Planting a a PANDEMIC????


How do you plant a church in a pandemic? 

We've been spending the year trying to navigate these interesting waters and answer that very question. With new spikes of COVID in our area that has people more worried than ever, some might even call into question whether this is an activity that should be happening at all. As we seek to continue to get the word out about our Bible Study group we desire to keep everyone healthy and safe, but the things that motivated us to begin this journey pre-covid remain true and are perhaps more pertinent than ever. Here are just a few reasons why this task must move forward:

The Gospel must still be proclaimed. In a day when more people may be aware of the fragility of their own life than ever before, we must step forward and boldly proclaim the excellencies of Jesus Christ, the God-Man who took on flesh, lived a life without sin, and yet died the death of the worst of sinners. In His death He endured the wrath of God for our sins, and yet rose again from the dead, conquering sin and death! He now offers the free gift of eternal life and a right relationship with the Father to all who will turn from their sin and place their faith in Jesus Christ alone for salvation.

People still need to be nourished from the Word of God. This has always been true, but this truth may be more evident now than it has ever been. From the political realm to issues surrounding the virus to the constant bombardment from the world in various areas of immorality, there are a multiplicity of opportunities to have our minds taken away from the solid rock of Jesus Christ and His Word. As the world continually seeks to bring us into conformity with it and its evil systems (1 John 2:15-17), we must continually renew our minds with the precious Word of God (Rom 12:1-2). 

People still need the love, care, and fellowship of other believers. We were created to be in community. The Scriptures constantly bear witness that the lives of believers are bound up in one another. The local body of Christ was designed to be a community that gathers and engages one another in various activities for edification. How can we build one another up if we are not first fellowshipping with one another (1 Thess 5:11; Eph 4:11-16, 29)? How can we stir one another to love and good deeds if we have neglected the assembling of ourselves together (Heb 10:24-25)? How do we "[address] one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs" (Eph 5:19) if we are not within earshot? We were not designed to be lone-ranger Christians, going through life without the accountability of a local body. God made His church to be one that lives, loves, cares for, and builds up one another.  Are there times when it is wise to refrain from gathering? Absolutely! But we need to approach those times with biblical wisdom and not hide behind excuses, recognizing that such times come with their own levels of spiritual risk.

(As an aside, for those who have legitimate reasons to stay home, we must extend grace to them and recognize that they still need love, care, and fellowship. Having legitimate reasons to stay home does not exempt them from the way God created us.)

Many churches have closed their doors either temporarily or permanently, limiting where some may turn to hear the Word of God. Many of these churches have not been faithful Gospel-proclaiming, Bible-preaching churches, so to that extent, it may be a blessing that those churches are now closed. Many who attended those churches may be looking for a new church and what a great opportunity that is to provide for them a faithful community of true believers where they may be exposed to the Word of God in ways they may never have been before! But then there are also some local churches that have disbanded that were comprised of genuine believers who were faithful to hear the Word of God regularly and no longer have that opportunity with the same group of people. If the Gospel must still be proclaimed, and if people still need to be nourished from God's word, and if people still need the love, care, and fellowship from other believers, then these churches disbanding represents a significant void in a community, a void that needs to be filled.

Therefore, for at least these four reasons, the efforts of church planting must move forward through making disciple-making disciples. Though this may need to be done differently than it has before (methodologically speaking, not in message or mission), and though we seek to be careful to preserve life where we can through whatever protective measures appear to carry biblical wisdom, we continue to affirm the necessity of gathering together for the renewal of our souls, hearts, and minds as we seek to a plant a church for the good of God's people and for His glory.

Be blessed; be a blessing
Pastor Kenn.